Operation Choke Point 2.0: Biden Admin Plans to Circumvent Second Amendment with Politicized Lending

Image Credits: National File / Composite.

The Biden Administration is working on a plan to circumvent gun rights by re-instituting a policy that allows banks to choose who they do business with.

The loophole is a throwback to the Obama-era Justice Dept. policy known as Operation Choke Point, which created an end run around the Second Amendment by forcing lenders to abide by costly legal risk assessments before banking with clients.

The result is banks could choose not to lend to “high-risk” businesses including pawn shops and gun stores if a risk assessment showed doing so could cause financial harm.

During his tenure in office, President Donald Trump attempted to reverse Operation Choke Point policies, even issuing a Fair Access rule during his final days in office.

However, the Biden administration late last month paused publication of the rule, set to take effect April 1, until his Comptroller of the Currency has an opportunity to review it under the guise of ensuring an “orderly transition.”

If the comptroller refuses to publish the Trump order, as will likely be the case, Operation Choke Point could make a comeback, as explained by Real Clear Politics:

It is not difficult to conclude that many high-level members of the Biden administration prefer politicized lending, as a short journey down memory lane illustrates. Remember Operation Choke Point? That was the blatant effort by the Obama administration to exclude several legal industries from the banking system. This clearly was illegal and unconstitutional, having been based upon no law or any other kind of legal authority; it simply reflected the political biases of the senior Obama decisionmakers.

There is no evidence that then-Vice President Biden opposed it, and such arbitrary exercises of power are constrained by no obvious limiting principle. Any industry can become a target, and it is obvious that the discriminatory practices inexorably will expand over time as new bureaucrats and politicians come to occupy the various desks and offices, imposing their own views of what is good. The efficient allocation of capital? Who in the Beltway has an incentive to care about that?

The central value of the Trump rule was straightforward: Far from constraining the lenders, it imposed a short leash on the bureaucrats and politicians, in that new efforts to politicize lending could be challenged in court by the prospective borrowers disfavored by government officials. With or without a rule, the reality is that the banks and savings associations as a practical matter cannot take the public officials to court, as doing so would expose them to a vast array of punitive retaliations from the regulators. The lenders have to deal with the regulators on a daily basis on a vast array of their operations. It is no trick at all for the regulators to cause a given lender no end of legal and operational problems. Can anyone seriously deny this reality?

With the leftist enthusiasm near all-time highs after overthrowing Trump, Dems could now have the momentum needed to cement the anti-gun agenda, notes The Federalist:

Signs of Operation Choke Point’s formal resurrection are symbolic of the larger attempt by government actors to choke politically disfavored industries and individuals from the mainstream. While cancel culture has led to a politicized economy, the federal government’s arbitrarily targeting of individuals, groups, and entire companies will increase the politicization of the country, where the only acceptable views are from those in power.

Operating in the dark corners of the federal bureaucracy, Operation Choke Point bypasses public input and the legislative process, leaving politically unpopular individuals and businesses to fend for themselves. If the Biden administration’s rule reversal is any sign, the next four years won’t be about unifying the country to “Build Back Better.”



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